from The Globe and Mail. A major Canadian national daily
JUSTICE: TORONTO 18
Terror trial hears of hatred for Jews, respect for rats
June 6, 2008
The alleged leader of the alleged Toronto 18 terror bomb plot had just broken the news to one of his alleged co-conspirators that the house they were thinking of renting as a base had a rat problem.
“I don’t like wanna live with rats,” the leader said.
The co-conspirator, who clearly was still pining and pushing for the house rental, inquired rather timidly, “It’s permissible to kill rats?”
“Is there any good about rats?” the co-conspirator asked.
Well, said the leader, a little anguished because such matters are not so simple, only that the rat “is a creature of Allah.”
Jews, not so much. There was no such hand-wringing about Jew-killing.
Jews, the leader had told this same co-conspirator and two others a month earlier, you can kill with abandon. Because of what they had done to Palestine and “stuff like that, they’re all our enemies. It’s not enough to say they’re only my enemy in a certain part of land, they’re your enemy everywhere you see them….every single Jew is your enemy.”
One of the co-conspirators asked if by that, the leader meant that Jews here, in Canada, could be attacked.
Yes and no, said the leader. You weren’t compelled to attack them or anything, but if one was boldly walking down the street with a sign that read “pro-Zion, pro-Zion, whatever,” or if he “wears a big Jewish thing” (what that would be, whether yarmulke or the Star of David or something else he didn’t say), well, you should think about it.
Why? Because “Now, you are a target, and you would be rewarded for it, because he is your enemy…and if you were to do it, you wouldn’t be held accountable” in the eyes of Allah.
These are some excerpts of the legal wiretap intercepts played yesterday at the trial of the only young offender still charged in the sprawling terror investigation and the first case to actually get to trial.
The voice of the young man himself didn’t appear on the tapes; he is but a peripheral player, and is accused of participating in a terrorist enterprise, largely, it appears, through his alleged thieving for the group, and of taking training.
But first, prosecutors must prove there was such a terrorist group; thus, the extensive wire evidence, which is going a great distance to doing just that.
In the early intercepts, the darling lads contented themselves mostly with eating their way to paradise; the wires were full of endless, beyond-banal conversations about food.
But by Day 3 of the exercise, which covered the period of late February to late March, 2006, the food conversations dwindled both in frequency and duration, and the boys moved on to richer subjects – Jews, jihad, Afghanistan, suicide bombing and the rewards for martyrs, George Bush and the like.
In one intercept, they had a good chuckle over the March 4, 2006, attack on Canadian Lieutenant Trevor Greene, who was axed in the head and nearly killed when he was sitting bare-headed and cross-legged meeting elders in an Afghan village called Shinkay.
That attack was all over the news the next day, the day of the intercept, and the alleged leader brought the subject up with a giggle. When one of the co-conspirators dared suggest it had been a Taliban attack, the leader protested furiously that the assailant had just been some angry villager, because the Taliban was sufficiently well-armed and trained they wouldn’t resort to using an axe.
Well, said the RCMP informant who is central to the broader case, “I don’t think there’s gonna be much left of him.”
That mollified the leader somewhat, and he promptly launched into his usual factually inaccurate and florid version of this event, as with all events he recounted, claiming “another soldier with him was killed” (not true) and then said, “Man, it’s like these guys man, first of all the Canadian army, okay, they haven’t seen war,” before idly musing, “We gotta show some beheadings,” in a perfect world, of a president or prime minister.
The youth’s trial – he was 18 when arrested and is now 20 – is a judge-alone one, which means Ontario Superior Court Judge John Sproat will determine whether these charmers were indeed participating in a terrorist organization.
But the wires reveal that whatever else it was, the group was composed of young men of stupendous ignorance led by a pathological fellow so relentlessly garrulous he can only be described as having C. difficile of the mouth.
Younger than some of his alleged co-conspirators and a year or two older than the others, he was baldly and unmistakably the group’s leader. Everyone, including the RCMP agent, deferred to him.
Where someone with a modicum of sophistication – and by this I mean a person with even a slim grasp of history and current events – would have made this guy as a blowhard in a New York minute, his pals appear blinded by his supposed bona fides, his knowledge of women (never marry an Afghan girl, he said, because “you’ll never find one religious enough”), his purported wide-ranging knowledge of the world, and his raging blood lust.
They turned down the music when he noted, with trademark lunatic primness given everything else he said, that “Violent music can’t exist in the heart of the believer at the same time.” Whether he spoke of U.S. soldiers conducting “carpet bombing” on Afghan villages and said “These things come out every day,” or detailed how Canadians have set up “nudie bars” in Afghanistan, you could all but hear his acolytes nodding in agreement on the wires.
Once, when he was walking to the van to meet the lads, the leader either hesitated or looked around to make sure he wasn’t being watched. The followers assumed he was taking the necessary precautions.
“I’m sure,” said one reverently, “he has to do this every day.”
Yes, and he was as good at it as he was at everything else.